Disclaimer: I do not own anything related to Harry Potter
A/N: Time-travel, AU, HP/LM slash-fics are just too fun for me to stop at one. All comments, critique and opinions appreciated and welcomed.
The halls of Azkaban echoed with screams, that were filled with terror, gurgles that filled the minds of the listeners' with images of men drowning in their own blood, of horrors and torture. It reminded Lucius of old times, when the Dementors had abandoned the island prison and the Dark Lord had come for his supporters.
But there were no more Dementors, just like there was no Dark Lord. Harry Potter, the Chosen One had taken care of that, fulfilling a prophecy nearly two decades old.
Lucius listened to the ever approaching screams, sounds of bodies hitting the floor, terror filled screams, blood dripping on the stone. He waited for the same fate to befall him, waited for his death almost eagerly. It would at least be a change, a rupture in the monotonous existence that had been forced upon him inside the cold walls of Azkaban. There were no longer even Dementors to bring terror, only human guards with their snide remarks and withering glares. And soon there would be blood and pain again and then perhaps, death.
A release of sorts, thought Lucius. Perhaps he would meet his parents in the afterlife, or his Lord in hell.
Scornfully he pulled back the sleeve of his dirty, grey robe and looked at the mark there and grimaced at the ugly thing marring his otherwise perfectly pale skin. Even the destruction of Voldemort had not erased all he had done. Nothing, it seemed, could erase the stain.
The heavy metal door to his cell imploded outwards and Lucius lifted his gaze from his arm to the doorway. When he saw who it was that stood there, with their hands covered in blood, an expectant, almost eager grin stretching their mouth, green eyes dark with power, he jolted and threw his head back, wincing when the back of his skull collided with the stone.
Harry Potter lifted one of his hands and leaned his chin against his open palm, apparently not caring that he was smearing someone's blood on his face. He stared at Lucius with a grin that looked almost childish, naïve, filled with happiness. Dressed in a simple pale green robe that had stayed pristine and clean despite the blood and gore covering his arms and face he looked far more terrifying than the Dark Lord ever had. The Dark Lord at least had not looked human. You expected someone that looked like a monster to act like one.
"You're the last one," Potter informed him cheerily, tapping his fingers against his cheek, leaving crimson dots on his tanned face. "Only the two of us in this whole island. I killed everything else, even the rats," Potter snarled when he mentioned the rodents, and Lucius needed not think long to wonder why. Apparently Pettigrew's crimes were still not forgiven, despite the fact that it had been years since the man's death.
Potter soon stilled, satisfied at least for a moment to simply observe Lucius, so Lucius did the same.
Potter was still shorter than most men, his hair was still the same mess of dark curls and his frame lithe, yet not as scrawny as it had been when he was a boy. His eyes, darker now from something, either madness or power looked more profound, yet somehow lighter. He wore no glasses, but neither was he squinting. Perhaps he had corrected his eyesight in some ritual, or spelled the glasses invisible. Either way it seemed Potter placed more importance in his appearance as a man than he ever had as a boy.
"You certainly have changed, Mister Potter," Lucius spoke, shocked to discover that despite what he had believed his voice had not become rough from disuse. He sounded like he always had, at least to his own ears.
Potter's eyes seemed to widen in shock for a moment, but then he laughed, with pure joy it seemed. "Lucius Malfoy," he finally said. "I wouldn't have recognized you, but your voice… I could never forget that voice." Potter's smile was suggestive and Lucius shifted uncomfortably. He was not unaccustomed to advances, yet he had never thought to hear one from Potter and definitely not after he had spent years rotting in prison. He doubted he looked even half presentable, yet here was Potter, practically leering at him.
"Tell me Malfoy," Potter's voice had become deeper with the years and all the levity suddenly disappeared from his poster and expression. "If you could have anything, anything at all, what would it be?"
Lucius stared dumbfounded at the other man, not certain how deep into his madness Potter had fallen in. Why would he wish to know? Yet Potter's stare remained fixed on him and nothing suggested that the man was joking. "You wish to know my heart's desire?" Lucius asked.
Something in the words seemed to startle Potter, for he reared back, chin raised and eyes wide. Then he whispered, as if not wishing the words to escape, "Yes, Lucius, your heart's desire."
Lucius leaned back, his fingers unconsciously tracing the dark mark on his arm. "I wish…" he said, staring up at the ceiling. "I wish I had never bowed to no one." He looked back at Potter and found the other man staring at him with strange hunger.
"A do-over then?" Potter asked, almost breathlessly, as if he'd found his own greatest desire in Lucius' words.
"A do-over?" Lucius repeated, frowning slightly at the strange phrasing, but then nodded. "Yes, for me to have remembered that a Malfoy bows to no man."
Potter nodded, took out his wand and began to trace the air before his eyes in circular motions, as if contemplating the words, or perhaps trying to decide which curse he should use on Lucius. But when Potter spoke, instead of hearing an incantation to a spell that would have ended his life, Lucius was presented with yet another question.
"When did you forget that?"
Lucius shrugged, yet answered, not knowing why he was humouring this mad man that had come, apparently for no reason, to slaughter all the inmates of Azkaban. "When I came home from my sixth year at Hogwarts. That summer was… A change in many ways." His father, a strict man had died just days after Lucius' seventeenth birthday and suddenly there he was, seventeen and already in charge of a vast fortune and all the political power of the Malfoys, tied to a marriage contract he'd had no prior knowledge of, yet was still required to follow. He'd felt overwhelmed and unprepared for the responsibilities and bowing to another, a charismatic and powerful man that he shared ideals with seemed like the perfect choice. The promise of a world with no muggle taint had seemed ideal, tantalizing. Before that summer he had been a silent supporter, but by the time he returned for his seventh year he had been a marked Death Eater, a loyal and proud supporter of Lord Voldemort.
"What is the point of this, Potter?" Lucius asked, tired of waiting, talking, existing.
"The point, my dear Lucius is that I shall grant you your wish," Potter answered and Lucius' eyes widened at the conviction in Potter's words. Either the man was truly insane, or more powerful than any could have imagined.
"Why?" he asked, shocked to discover his voice trembling, from hope or fear he could not tell. He felt both in equal measure.
"Because I can," Potter answered. "I'm powerful beyond measure and the Hallows, well… Death changes a man and becoming the master of it you find there really is very little to stimulate you. Even killing isn't so much of a thrill as it was when I started at the Ministry. Truthfully the only reason I came here is because I was hoping…" Potter hesitated and then gave an almost helpless laugh. "I don't know what I was expecting, but to find everyone, even the Aurors pitiful was disappointing. The most secure prison in the Wizarding world, and all they threw at me were stunners and hexes! Hexes Lucius, hexes and jinxes! Not even a single curse!"
All the while he had been speaking Potter had kept on tracing circles in the air and Lucius noticed now that the patterns were not as random as they appeared at first glance. All were perfect circles, all intertwined and they slowly began glowing, shimmering with a white, pearly gleam.
"What are you doing?" Lucius whispered, feeling the magic gather and compress on the circles Potter drew in the air with his wand.
"It's a ritual," Potter answered. "I'm using this place, the deaths committed here, the blood spilled, the terror seeped into the stones as a sacrifice." He closed his eyes and breathed deep, his face serene, the wand never stopping, the hand never faltering in its movements. "It's been building for years, for centuries and to think I'll be the one to harness it and you'll be the one benefiting from it."
"Potter," Lucius rasped, pulling himself close to the wall behind him, hoping for an escape, a way out of the mad man's presence.
"You asked for a second chance, I'm giving it to you," Potter explained. "I can't change the past of course," he said, then tilted his head to the side before nodding. "Well I can, but I wont. Because if I did that, I would not have this power and you would not ask for a second chance. Instead I am taking us to a fork in the road, where you will choose differently and create a new world, a world where Voldemort still exists, Dumbledore still lives and Harry Potter has not been born yet. A world that Lucius Malfoy can shape to his will."
The wand stopped, the circles burned brighter forcing Lucius to close his eyes, yet he could still see them through his lids, shining, twisting, solidifying themselves into shapes of a chain twice the length of a grown man.
Once the glow subsided Lucius opened his eyes and watched transfixed as the one end of the chain twisted itself around Potter's extended left arm, burning into the skin, turning black but still glowing somehow. "It's Soul Magic, of course," Potter said, making Lucius turn his gaze from his arm to his face. "I am binding myself to you. It is the only way for you to return. I'll take your soul back with me, you will be born as you are, but not until the fork, the end of your sixth year will you remember, be who you are now." The smile Potter gave him was sad, yet at the same time wistful. "It will be trying waiting for you, but I'll manage."
The other end of the chain lunged forward, wrapping around Lucius' left arm, burning through the dark mark, destroying the black in its wake.
He felt it take hold of his body, his soul, his mind and he wanted to scream at the binds, to snarl at Potter, to tell him to take them off. He did not want this. He had already been bound to one master, must he now obey another one?
"I'll not be your master," Potter said, as if reading his mind. And how was Lucius to know that he did not. "Your choices will be your own, your mind and soul yours. What influence I will have over you will be what you give me," Potter assured and somehow Lucius found himself believing it. It was more than words, though. He felt Potter. Felt him in his soul, felt his soul and suspected Potter felt his soul in a similar manner.
"Ready for your new life?" Potter whispered with gentleness Lucius had never heard from any human or creature and then he felt white, saw white and tasted white. And then…
Little Lucius stood on his own and grinned at the shadow standing behind his parents. His Mother and Father cooed and exclaimed how proud they were of him, and the boy giggled when the shadow tickled his tummy and placed a gentle kiss on the top of his head, the press of the lips on his hair somehow more meaningful, than the gentle kiss of his mother.
"Are you a ghost?" Lucius pondered aloud, looking at the shadow from the corner of his eye, knowing it would not answer, would not speak. It never did.
He was seven years old and his father had just given him permission to enter the family library and Lucius had spent almost every moment there looking for an explanation to his shadow. It had always been there, for as long as he remembered, perhaps even longer. His first clear memory was of the shadow, not of his parents or his favourite toy.
But it was starting to disappear, fade. Where it once had been as solid and dark as the coal in the fireplace, it was now as frail and thin as any other afternoon shadow, and sometimes Lucius thought he saw it flicker.
It frightened him that the shadow might be leaving, or that Lucius might be losing his ability to see it, and he wanted to know what it was so he could make it stay.
"Cunning you have and ambition. Loyalty, for your family perhaps, courage, yes, and intellect. Something from all the houses, yes that goes for every child, but you, Lucius Malfoy, I know just the house for you."
"Slytherin!" the Sorting Hat shouted as if there ever had been any doubt and Lucius walked towards the green and silver table and sat down with the other new Slytherins, most of whom he already knew.
From the corner of his eye he saw a flash of dark, a grey shadow that seemed out of place, despite the other, flickering shadows cast by the torches and candles of the hall. It reminded him of his childhood friend, the imaginary companion that had always been there as a silent companion but had completely disappeared the older he became.
Sometimes he would see a shadow that differed from others in some way, by colour or shape and it made him wonder, that perhaps the shadow had not been just his imagination.
"What do you think of this Dark Lord?" Mannyon, one of the more dim witted Slytherins of his year asked, in full hearing of almost all of their housemates. The stupid boy did not seem to even understand his own idiocy.
Lucius glanced at the others calculatingly, trying to make something of their reactions or lack there of, and to his surprise found most of them looking at him. Lucius was about to reply with an answer that would hint he held some sympathy for the Dark Lord's cause, yet would still be vague enough so no one could accuse him of anything, when he saw his shadow again.
Against the bookshelf it looked just like any other shadow, yet there was no one that could have cast it. Lucius narrowed his eyes when the shadow's finger rose to its lips, a sign for him to remain silent. And then it disappeared.
Lucius realized he had been silent for far too long, frowning at what to everyone else looked like nothing, and scowled. He stood up, gathered his books and prepared to leave when Marion, one of the half-bloods spoke. "You didn't answer Mannyon, Lucius."
Lucius sneered at the girl and then glanced at Mannyon, somewhat mollified when the other boy diverted his gaze on the table.
He looked back at the girl and with a raised eyebrow replied, "I see no reason why I should."
He almost smiled when he heard the furious whispering his lack of answer caused, but tempered his reactions. He headed down to the dungeons with a furious pace, only stopping when he caught another glimpse of the shadow.
It was standing near a torch, but the flickering light seemed to have no effect on it. It was just as dark and impenetrable as it had been in his childhood and when he concentrated, Lucius thought he could actually sense it. "There's a reason for it," Lucius spoke aloud. "Why you're here again, like this, why you stopped me from answering."
There wasn't an answer and although Lucius could not discern an expression on the shadow's face, he had the feeling it was smiling, in fact, grinning. "Will you ever tell me?" Lucius asked, a hint of pleading in his voice.
The shadow only returned his stare, but the feel of a grin slowly faded and all Lucius got from it was a request to be patient.
Sighing deeply Lucius turned away from the shadow and headed towards the Slytherin dormitory, wishing, not for the first time that the shadow would just speak to him.
"A Malfoy bows to no man," Lucius heard the whisper and found himself nodding to it. It was true, after all. Malfoys never bowed, never followed. They led and others bowed to them. Centuries of proud history and not once had a Malfoy kneeled before anyone.
The train's whistle blew and Lucius leaned back on the bench, exhausted. For the past days, after the incident in the library he had been having dreams that woke him in the middle of the night, had seen figures in the hallways that were not his shadow for they held in them colour and life, yet were somehow less there than the shadow.
He would have called them memories, if the concept had not been so ridiculous.
"Lucius, are you-"
"-alright?" Sandra asked, her eyes narrowed with worry. They were not very close, but she was the type of girl to worry for everyone, an unusual aspect in a Slytherin.
"-alright?" Sandra asked, her eyes narrowed with worry.
Lucius brought a hand to his forehead to stave of the sudden dizziness that came from the double vision and turned his head to the side and saw someone walk past the compartment. A flash of red, a Gryff-
A flash of red, a Gryffindor that had not bothered to change from his school robes yet, no doubt.
"I am well," Lucius answered the girl, attempting to sound bored, yet nearly wincing at the whining quality of his voice. "Anxious to get home, I suppose," he added with a small smile, pleased when that came out with a more assuring voice.
"Well suppose I-"
"- I would be as well if my marriage contract was to be signed within a few weeks," Sandra consented. "Narcissa is a fine girl, she'll make a good wife for you."
"I hardly know the girl, so I couldn't say," Lucius drawled. "I just hope she hasn't taken after her sisters," he hissed. "Bellatrix is a raving lunatic and as for Andromeda…" Lucius trailed off with a raised eyebrow and they both chuckled.
"- I would as well if my marriage contract was to be signed within a few weeks."
Lucius closed his eyes, but the barrage of the visions, two voices, identical to each other speaking the same words, in the same tone, the reality following his imagination like an echo. "I need to…" Lucius stammered and stood. "I'm going to the bathroom," he finally muttered and stumbled out of the compartment and outside to the now empty corridor.
Nauseous, Lucius hurried towards the small bathroom, stepped inside, closed the door and locked it behind himself just in time before he collapsed on his knees as images and sounds, feelings, sensations, thoughts and emotions flooded him. Years of knowledge, memories, experience crashed into him and he had to bite on his tongue to keep from screaming.
He smiled when he saw his son being born, glowed with pride as he kneeled, "My Lord," growled when the Dark Lord fell, was terrified when the Dementors surrounded him, condescending at his trial, furious when the boy freed his elf, elated at his lord's resurrection, howled with impotent rage as his home and family were disused and violated, relieved when the Dark Lord fell, happy that his family would survive, apathetic at his own imprisonment.
"If you could have anything, anything at all, what would it be?"
The question echoed in the small space, and as the memory returned he furiously pushed back the sleeve of his robe from left arm where he had so many times seen the ugly Dark Mark. But his sight revealed nothing else besides smooth, white skin. Not even the chain that had burnt so brilliantly white was visible, and Lucius was almost tempted to blame it on his imagination, if not for the shadow that had haunted his childhood.
"Potter," he hissed and cast his eyes about the walls, searching for the man, his shadow. But he was not there, was never there when Lucius needed him!
Fuming Lucius picked himself up from the floor, glanced at the mirror so he could observe his figure. He looked so terrible young, despite the fact that he now felt much older than the seventeen years this body had existed. He remembered everything to an excruciating detail, yet despite it all he was not at all confused as to what time period it was that he existed in.
Should he choose it, he could let things continue as they were. He could marry Narcissa, have Draco, bow before the Dark Lord, lead a life identical to the one he had before. But that would defeat the purpose of this second chance. No matter that it had been given him as a whim of Potter, it was still a second chance.
Lucius pulled back his shoulders, ran his hand through his shoulder length pale blond hair and slid a finger along his still smooth jaw. If he remembered correctly it would still take a few months before he would need to begin shaving.
Next Lucius pulled out his wand, waved it at the wall and nodded in satisfaction when it melted away soundlessly and revealed the rapidly moving landscape through which they were moving.
Satisfied that his magic was still intact and in his command, Lucius cancelled the charm on the wall with a flick of his wrist, hid his wand in the coils of his robe and exited the bathroom.
The corridor was already filled with running students, most of them younger years, but some elder students, prefects of different houses mixed in to maintain some manner of order, no matter how futile it always seemed. The summer holidays were upon them and everyone was eager to return home to more pleasurable activities than studying.
Lucius pondered on the fact that he did not feel the same enthusiasm as these children did. Returning home to the manor he had ruled for decades as master should be an interesting experience as a young man, already of age, but still subservient to his father.
His father that would die in only a few days, leaving Lucius with his responsibilities and duties; which among handling the vast fortune included the care of his mother, securing an heir, and maintaining the reputation and influence of the Malfoy line in the Wizarding World.
Lucius was glad for it, really. It was not that he did not love his father, quite the opposite. But he had already grieved him once and doing so again felt pointless. And with his father dead, Lucius would have full control of all his assets and this time he would not be foolish enough to relinquish them all to the Dark Lord. His engagement to Narcissa would unfortunately have to be broken. The Blacks were doomed in their devotion to the Dark Lord and whomever Lucius chose as his wife would not be allowed to sully the Malfoy name.
He would miss his son of course, but it would be pointless siring another child with Narcissa, name it Draco and hope for the best. It was unlikely the child, even if it would turn out to be a boy, would be anything like Draco.
This was after all his second chance, his heart's desire, as Potter, his shadow had promised.